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 Post subject: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:23 am 
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So, I think I'm losing my mind.

I am getting absolutely battered to hell this quarter. One major grade setback really hammered my psyche, which is part of it, but it is more the relentless workload this quarter. I'm pulling 50 hours weeks and falling behind.

If that was my only issue, I'd be fine. I can handle this kind of work load for a few more weeks until the end of the year.

My problem... I'm horrified about the overall affect it's having on me, when one considers that the prize for winning the law school game--as I largely have, thus far--is ~70 hour workweeks for years, doing work that is less interesting than class work, on a more regimented time scale.

I seriously don't understand. I've pulled 80-hour workweeks since I was in high school, if you consider job + school. For parts of undergrad, I worked 3 jobs while taking 18 credits, and many of those classes were 1-credit classes with 6 hours of rehearsal a week.

If I can't handle 50 hours of pseudo-legal work a week for the limited time frame of a few weeks, how in God's name am I going to handle biglaw?

It's incredibly frusterating. I have been lucky enough to largely win this stupid law school game. I got one bad grade last quarter that may have dropped me out of #1 in my class, but I still have strong grades. I'm lucky enough to go to a better school than I have any business attending--the vast majority of people here are much, much smarter than me, and those who aren't are just somewhat smarter than me. Yet I have an overwhelming desire to throw in the towel, because I don't think I can keep my grades where they are, and even if I do, I'm starting to think I'll last about 3 weeks in the prize at the end of all of this before flaming out.

God damnit.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:28 am 
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Posts: 230
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
So, I think I'm losing my mind.

I am getting absolutely battered to hell this quarter. One major grade setback really hammered my psyche, which is part of it, but it is more the relentless workload this quarter. I'm pulling 50 hours weeks and falling behind.

If that was my only issue, I'd be fine. I can handle this kind of work load for a few more weeks until the end of the year.

My problem... I'm horrified about the overall affect it's having on me, when one considers that the prize for winning the law school game--as I largely have, thus far--is ~70 hour workweeks for years, doing work that is less interesting than class work, on a more regimented time scale.

I seriously don't understand. I've pulled 80-hour workweeks since I was in high school, if you consider job + school. For parts of undergrad, I worked 3 jobs while taking 18 credits, and many of those classes were 1-credit classes with 6 hours of rehearsal a week.

If I can't handle 50 hours of pseudo-legal work a week for the limited time frame of a few weeks, how in God's name am I going to handle biglaw?

It's incredibly frusterating. I have been lucky enough to largely win this stupid law school game. I got one bad grade last quarter that may have dropped me out of #1 in my class, but I still have strong grades. I'm lucky enough to go to a better school than I have any business attending--the vast majority of people here are much, much smarter than me, and those who aren't are just somewhat smarter than me. Yet I have an overwhelming desire to throw in the towel, because I don't think I can keep my grades where they are, and even if I do, I'm starting to think I'll last about 3 weeks in the prize at the end of all of this before flaming out.

God damnit.


get yourself together. one bad grade at a top 6 and youre thinking of dropping out? If 50 hours of crappy, boring, horrible work plus one setback is enough to make you quit, youre going to get eaten alive when you have 75 hour weeks with a bastard of a boss in a competitive setting (where you might not be the tippy top of the heap.)

I dont mean to be all negative but I had a similar brutal work experience when working for an investment bank and it totally wasnt worth it. that being said, once your panic attack is over you need to evaluate if youre competitive enough to go hard for another 5-7 years (finish school, go biglaw). if not, dont waste anymore time.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:29 am 
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You used 'affect' instead of 'effect'. No wonder you got a bad grade!!!


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:32 am 
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It's really less the grade than the other stuff. That said, I know it's absurd, which is why it's so incredibly frusterating.

Also: I will never, ever, ever, ever get affect and effect straight. Ever. They're building a circle of hell just to teach me the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:33 am 
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Hang in there. Biglaw is only 50-60 hours, and you don't have to be in the top 5-10% anymore if you don't want to make partner.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:34 am 
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wtf?
"bad grade" is that an A-?


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:34 am 
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ToTransferOrNot wrote:
So, I think I'm losing my mind.

I am getting absolutely battered to hell this quarter. One major grade setback really hammered my psyche, which is part of it, but it is more the relentless workload this quarter. I'm pulling 50 hours weeks and falling behind.

If that was my only issue, I'd be fine. I can handle this kind of work load for a few more weeks until the end of the year.

My problem... I'm horrified about the overall affect it's having on me, when one considers that the prize for winning the law school game--as I largely have, thus far--is ~70 hour workweeks for years, doing work that is less interesting than class work, on a more regimented time scale.

I seriously don't understand. I've pulled 80-hour workweeks since I was in high school, if you consider job + school. For parts of undergrad, I worked 3 jobs while taking 18 credits, and many of those classes were 1-credit classes with 6 hours of rehearsal a week.

If I can't handle 50 hours of pseudo-legal work a week for the limited time frame of a few weeks, how in God's name am I going to handle biglaw?

It's incredibly frusterating. I have been lucky enough to largely win this stupid law school game. I got one bad grade last quarter that may have dropped me out of #1 in my class, but I still have strong grades. I'm lucky enough to go to a better school than I have any business attending--the vast majority of people here are much, much smarter than me, and those who aren't are just somewhat smarter than me. Yet I have an overwhelming desire to throw in the towel, because I don't think I can keep my grades where they are, and even if I do, I'm starting to think I'll last about 3 weeks in the prize at the end of all of this before flaming out.

God damnit.


Honestly, I think anyone who puts in more than 20 hrs/wk outside of class is doing law school wrong. If you are working really hard because you care about the subject matter, more power to you - but if you truly cared, you wouldn't be so miserable. If you only care about playing the law school game, you can win with far less effort.

If you honestly believe that a vast majority of your classmates are smarter than you, then you have no business gunning for academia or a SCOTUS clerkship, right? So why are you still obsessing about staying on top? You've already won.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:37 am 
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The bad grade was below-median. Multiple choice = evil. Anyway, like I said, that's really a minor part of my pseudo-meltdown--it was probably just the touchoff.

The work load right now is for "practical classes" that actually have projects with deadlines and so on--it's not a matter of me studying a lot. Trust me, I don't do that. I haven't read anything in 2 weeks for a class that has a mid-term next week (fortunately, un-graded).

But yeah.. deadlines, actualy projects, etc... in other words, as soon as I made law school approximate relaity, it went to shit. Not good.


Last edited by ToTransferOrNot on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:37 am 
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jitsrenzo wrote:
Hang in there. Biglaw is only 50-60 hours, and you don't have to be in the top 5-10% anymore if you don't want to make partner.



??


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:39 am 
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Posts: 153
I don't have any advice, but I can tell you I feel the exact same way. Especially around I finals I really begin to question why I am doing this, especially if the reward at the end of it all is more work hours than I currently put in. I just want a day off, I want to spend more than a few hours with my wife and my friends.

I'm also not exercising or eating well because I'm stressed about finals.

You have a distinct advantage over me though, going to a T6, because I may do all of this work and still not be able to pay off the debt in any reasonable time frame. If you hate biglaw, at least you can live modestly for a few years and pay down your debt quickly, then get out of this rat race.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:41 am 
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ToTransferOrNot wrote:
It's really less the grade than the other stuff. That said, I know it's absurd, which is why it's so incredibly frusterating.

Also: I will never, ever, ever, ever get affect and effect straight. Ever. They're building a circle of hell just to teach me the difference.


Alliteration helps me: affect is the action. But in the long run, it doesn't matter.

Hang in there. You're right at the end of a semester. Is this possibly just the stress of finals doing you in? Not that biglaw won't be stressful, but from what I've seen, it's a different kind of stress.

And if you want to make decent money, but you aren't sure about biglaw anymore, have you thought about trying to break into academia?


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:56 pm 
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ITT: OP, who is better off than 99.7% of law students and knows it, cries "woe is me" and looks for sympathy because of ONE mediocre grade. Jesus truly weeps.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:01 pm 
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ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Also: I will never, ever, ever, ever get affect and effect straight. Ever. They're building a circle of hell just to teach me the difference.
I never once got them confused until I was old enough to learn the verb meaning of effect and the noun meaning of affect. Now I have to double-check myself every time. :(


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:21 pm 
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ToTransferOrNot wrote:
So, I think I'm losing my mind.

I am getting absolutely battered to hell this quarter. One major grade setback really hammered my psyche, which is part of it, but it is more the relentless workload this quarter. I'm pulling 50 hours weeks and falling behind.

If that was my only issue, I'd be fine. I can handle this kind of work load for a few more weeks until the end of the year.

My problem... I'm horrified about the overall affect it's having on me, when one considers that the prize for winning the law school game--as I largely have, thus far--is ~70 hour workweeks for years, doing work that is less interesting than class work, on a more regimented time scale.

I seriously don't understand. I've pulled 80-hour workweeks since I was in high school, if you consider job + school. For parts of undergrad, I worked 3 jobs while taking 18 credits, and many of those classes were 1-credit classes with 6 hours of rehearsal a week.

If I can't handle 50 hours of pseudo-legal work a week for the limited time frame of a few weeks, how in God's name am I going to handle biglaw?

It's incredibly frusterating. I have been lucky enough to largely win this stupid law school game. I got one bad grade last quarter that may have dropped me out of #1 in my class, but I still have strong grades. I'm lucky enough to go to a better school than I have any business attending--the vast majority of people here are much, much smarter than me, and those who aren't are just somewhat smarter than me. Yet I have an overwhelming desire to throw in the towel, because I don't think I can keep my grades where they are, and even if I do, I'm starting to think I'll last about 3 weeks in the prize at the end of all of this before flaming out.

God damnit.


looking at your user name I gather you might be frustrated that the bad grade may cost you the transfer to HY? bummer, dude.

Law school is a whole lot of reading. So is the practice of law. Sounds so obvious, doesn't it? But a lot of people I've met in law school just don't want to believe they'll be spending countless hours with their head bent over a stack of papers written in mind numbing legal jargon.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:22 pm 
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Posts: 39
and you should finish, do well, and go into business if law doesn't work out for ya. That trajectory is common.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:35 pm 
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jbjb1 wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
So, I think I'm losing my mind.

I am getting absolutely battered to hell this quarter. One major grade setback really hammered my psyche, which is part of it, but it is more the relentless workload this quarter. I'm pulling 50 hours weeks and falling behind.

If that was my only issue, I'd be fine. I can handle this kind of work load for a few more weeks until the end of the year.

My problem... I'm horrified about the overall affect it's having on me, when one considers that the prize for winning the law school game--as I largely have, thus far--is ~70 hour workweeks for years, doing work that is less interesting than class work, on a more regimented time scale.

I seriously don't understand. I've pulled 80-hour workweeks since I was in high school, if you consider job + school. For parts of undergrad, I worked 3 jobs while taking 18 credits, and many of those classes were 1-credit classes with 6 hours of rehearsal a week.

If I can't handle 50 hours of pseudo-legal work a week for the limited time frame of a few weeks, how in God's name am I going to handle biglaw?

It's incredibly frusterating. I have been lucky enough to largely win this stupid law school game. I got one bad grade last quarter that may have dropped me out of #1 in my class, but I still have strong grades. I'm lucky enough to go to a better school than I have any business attending--the vast majority of people here are much, much smarter than me, and those who aren't are just somewhat smarter than me. Yet I have an overwhelming desire to throw in the towel, because I don't think I can keep my grades where they are, and even if I do, I'm starting to think I'll last about 3 weeks in the prize at the end of all of this before flaming out.

God damnit.


looking at your user name I gather you might be frustrated that the bad grade may cost you the transfer to HY? bummer, dude.

Law school is a whole lot of reading. So is the practice of law. Sounds so obvious, doesn't it? But a lot of people I've met in law school just don't want to believe they'll be spending countless hours with their head bent over a stack of papers written in mind numbing legal jargon.


Isn't he a 2L who transferred into Chicago last year?

Actually, a related question: How do they determine your rank? Do they count your 1L grades from elsewhere, or do they only count 2L and 3L grades in calculating a cumulative GPA? Either way, aren't transfer students at a great advantage?


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:40 pm 
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rando wrote:
jitsrenzo wrote:
Hang in there. Biglaw is only 50-60 hours, and you don't have to be in the top 5-10% anymore if you don't want to make partner.



??


Yeah, this is just false.

To OP, you're right, I'm not quite sure how you'd handle BigLaw if you can't do 50 hours/week.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:46 pm 
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There's no sense in dropping out this late in the game. Finish as strong as you can and then do what you want with your life. Debt is manageable as long as you don't need to "live like a lawyer." If you drop out, you won't be living like a lawyer anyway, and you'll still have most of the debt.


Last edited by Reinhardt on Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Are you a 2L? And if you are, are you working for a firm this summer? (Assuming, from what you wrote, that working for a firm is your goal.)

If you are, I'd advise you to stick it out for the final two/three weeks, finish these exams, and then see how it goes this summer. Of course life as a summer associate is not entirely the same as your life will be after graduation, but you'll get a taste of the kind of work that you'll be doing.

A large part of law-school stress comes from the impending doom of bad grades, the constant pressure to study more and work harder (to which some personalities are immune but others aren't), and there's always more that you could be doing. In one sense, law-firm workweeks are less stressful than law school: it's probably true that you'll work a lot of evenings and weekends, but if you have a Saturday off, you really have the Saturday off, and you need not do anything work-related. But people get stressed in different ways. What may be stressful for me, may not be stressful for you. If you have a job lined up for the summer, I think it would be unwise to make any decision before later this summer. If after the summer break you still think the same way, start a new thread, update us all, and reconsider the question.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:49 pm 
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Unemployed wrote:
jbjb1 wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
So, I think I'm losing my mind.

I am getting absolutely battered to hell this quarter. One major grade setback really hammered my psyche, which is part of it, but it is more the relentless workload this quarter. I'm pulling 50 hours weeks and falling behind.

If that was my only issue, I'd be fine. I can handle this kind of work load for a few more weeks until the end of the year.

My problem... I'm horrified about the overall affect it's having on me, when one considers that the prize for winning the law school game--as I largely have, thus far--is ~70 hour workweeks for years, doing work that is less interesting than class work, on a more regimented time scale.

I seriously don't understand. I've pulled 80-hour workweeks since I was in high school, if you consider job + school. For parts of undergrad, I worked 3 jobs while taking 18 credits, and many of those classes were 1-credit classes with 6 hours of rehearsal a week.

If I can't handle 50 hours of pseudo-legal work a week for the limited time frame of a few weeks, how in God's name am I going to handle biglaw?

It's incredibly frusterating. I have been lucky enough to largely win this stupid law school game. I got one bad grade last quarter that may have dropped me out of #1 in my class, but I still have strong grades. I'm lucky enough to go to a better school than I have any business attending--the vast majority of people here are much, much smarter than me, and those who aren't are just somewhat smarter than me. Yet I have an overwhelming desire to throw in the towel, because I don't think I can keep my grades where they are, and even if I do, I'm starting to think I'll last about 3 weeks in the prize at the end of all of this before flaming out.

God damnit.


looking at your user name I gather you might be frustrated that the bad grade may cost you the transfer to HY? bummer, dude.

Law school is a whole lot of reading. So is the practice of law. Sounds so obvious, doesn't it? But a lot of people I've met in law school just don't want to believe they'll be spending countless hours with their head bent over a stack of papers written in mind numbing legal jargon.


Isn't he a 2L who transferred into Chicago last year?

Actually, a related question: How do they determine your rank? Do they count your 1L grades from elsewhere, or do they only count 2L and 3L grades in calculating a cumulative GPA? Either way, aren't transfer students at a great advantage?


oops, maybe he already transferred. I'm not in the loop.

typically transfer grades aren't calculated in the cumulative when you graduate. Obviously, when you apply for jobs they will still want to see your grades from 1L, but your new school won't count the grades...at least I haven't seen it.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:58 pm 
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To those of you who think the OP came on here to bitch about a single bad grade, you're retarded.


OP: like a few posters have already suggested, you should stick with it. Biglaw doesn't need to be the undesirable "finish line" for which you are racing. There are many fulfilling and successful careers besides biglaw that can be born of good grades in school...you may just be in the process of realizing that you'd prefer something other than conventional firm work.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:05 pm 
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Kiersten1985 wrote:
rando wrote:
jitsrenzo wrote:
Hang in there. Biglaw is only 50-60 hours, and you don't have to be in the top 5-10% anymore if you don't want to make partner.
??
Yeah, this is just false.

To OP, you're right, I'm not quite sure how you'd handle BigLaw if you can't do 50 hours/week.

I think he was saying the OP wouldn't have to gun every hour of the day at a BigLaw job -- not that the OP should let his grades slip. I'm pretty sure that's not false if you've already got your job lined up.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Kiersten1985 wrote:
rando wrote:
jitsrenzo wrote:
Hang in there. Biglaw is only 50-60 hours, and you don't have to be in the top 5-10% anymore if you don't want to make partner.



??


Yeah, this is just false.

To OP, you're right, I'm not quite sure how you'd handle BigLaw if you can't do 50 hours/week.


It absolutely isn't that I can't do 50 hours/week, as I said. I don't know if it's the kind of work--maybe I can't do 50 hours of desk work a week without losing it (When I was in UG, my 80+ hour weeks were a combination of waiting tables, playing music, etc... all fairly high-energy pursuits.) When I was teaching, I did 50+ hour weeks between work, prep outside of work, and my orchestral performing/lesson studio.

This stuff, though? I'm honestly just losing it.

I don't know. Take it as a warning, I guess. Not only do you need to win the law school game to get the golden ring, but the golden ring might actually be god awful. I'm obviously not going to drop out right now--I do have a SA lined up for the summer. If for no other reason than finances, it would be foolish for me to cut and run at this moment, as I'm already on the hook for this quarter's tuition, and I'll make $30k this summer.

We have been told to expect a more "realistic" experience this summer than the normal SA program. Maybe it will give me a sense that I can actually survive. Part of this might be that law school started grating on me some time ago--I'm not a "life of the mind" kind of person--that even though I'm largely taking 'practical' courses this quarter, it's still getting to me. To the extent Pre-Trial is a "practical" course, for example, it's still essentially Acting 101.


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:44 pm 
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ToTransferOrNot wrote:
We have been told to expect a more "realistic" experience this summer than the normal SA program.

This is intriguing to me, and possibly refreshing. Was this told to you by the firm or your school? Either way, would you mind if I asked which firm it is?


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 Post subject: Re: T6, Top ~5%, and thoughts of drop slips dancing in my head.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:48 pm 
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clintonius wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
We have been told to expect a more "realistic" experience this summer than the normal SA program.

This is intriguing to me, and possibly refreshing. Was this told to you by the firm or your school? Either way, would you mind if I asked which firm it is?


How on earth could it possibly look refreshing? You do realize that 'more realistic' is just a euphemism for 'fewer sweet/opulent perks', right?

Also, TToN: To over-extend your metaphor, the golden ring probably has the inscription "this too shall pass" on it. Everyone has moments of doubt and burnout. You'll feel better after a few days and weeks once this round of misery has passed and the next has started. There will be better and happier and more exciting and less busy moments, and you'll have a lot more control over the process going forward as well. If you can't focus on the future, focus on how temporary the unideal present is.

To add one more cliche to the fire: If you're going through hell, keep going!


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